Students rallied on a cold afternoon with unloaded Nerf Blasters and drums to show their support Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) Oct. 27.
The sit-in, organized through Facebook and the Association for Student Rights (ASR) website, was visited by Dean of Students Barry Schonberger, Student Affairs administrator Marcia Kiessling and Student Government Association (SGA) President Jordan Whitledge.
“I think this sit-in shows that students can come together to make changes,” junior radio television major major Dave Bednarowicz said. “It’s great to see the communication between administration and students.”
“Our number one priority is student safety,” Schonberger said during a small speech at the sit-in. “A student at an Iowa University was hit by a car, but not seriously injured, while playing the game. That’s why the student organizers and the university need to work close together to make HvZ safe but still a fun game.”
The instance Schonberger is referring to happened at RiverFest in Iowa and not at a college said co-founder of the original HvZ game Max Temkin.
The kids got a little too into it, but that’s something that can happen in any outdoor sport, Temkin said.
He said HvZ is safe, students just have to understand it’s just a game.
“No one has ever been hurt by the Nerf Blasters, we love playing with them because they’re kid’s toys and don’t look like real guns,” Temkin said. “I’m really glad the administration is talking to the students. Both sides need to give a little. Students need to understand universities concerns with safety and address them and the university needs to trust the students because Humans vs. Zombies is all about having fun and is safe.”
Junior political science major John Sieperski, along with a few others, has met with Schonberger, Kiessling and Whitledge to talk about what it would take to make HvZ a safe game.
“When I first heard that students thought their voices weren’t being heard I contacted those students,” Schonberger said. “We talked with them and what I committed to was to move very quickly to have a safe game. We hope to have everything done this week.”
Bednarowicz, who has participated in three HvZ games, does not think safety will be an issue.
“I have played HvZ before, and I have yet to encounter injuries or see anything bad happen because of this game,” Bednarowicz said. “I can’t wait to see this game be played on campus, and I think it will really bring the campus together.”
Sieperski, who helped organize the sit-in event, has placed reform of student organizations on the foreground of his concerns.
“As a direct result of the sit-in, student organizers now will have the opportunity to collaborate directly with each other and the administration to make a better environment for campus organizations to grow,” Sieperski said. “On top of that, we get to play Humans vs. Zombies. I’m very happy with what we’ve achieved.”
As a result of talks between students and the administration, there has been development of round-table talks between the administration and student organizations that will happen at the end of each month.
“This isn’t the first time-round table talks have been around,” Schonberger said. “They usually are around when they’re hot topics, but the problem with them is once the hot topics are resolved less people start show up because there isn’t anything major to talk about. But it’s exciting because we now have a hot topic.”
“The administration and students involved with this have the same goals, we both want what’s best for our community,” Sieperski said. “At this point, for HvZ as we’ve been told, it’s all a matter of getting the appropriate staff together and putting the rules in writing. We expect HvZ to be completely cleared within a few days.”
HvZ is allowed on campus, but the rules have yet to be determined.